#Mobile, #mobile app, #PWA, #Web
16 March 2019
Bartłomiej Rogacewicz

Pros and cons of PWA

What is the reason why the PWA was invented? Why did anyone think about creating a mobile app in this way? Today we would like to share our perspective with you.Back in the days, when users didn’t have constant access to the internet, we used to install apps on our hard drives and use them through this way. It was convenient and quite good because no matter what we could use them as long as we had access to our computer.

Different platform usually equals different app

Unfortunately, this kind of apps which are known as native apps have some disadvantages. One of them is the fact that if you would like to build this kind of app and deliver it to people all over the world, you would have to deal with different platforms and operating systems. Yep, that’s right, if you want to have your native app on iPhone, you need to write one in Swift or Objective-C. If you want to provide Android users with your app, you need to get familiar with Kotlin. Moreover, Building windows app equals C# and wearables like Samsung gears require you to know their operating system – Tizen.

All of these technologies and systems are equal to thousands of hours of coding and learning.

How to skip it?

You can’t. At some point, all of it is important and useful. However, there was a group of people who tried to add a new way of delivering your software not through installing it on your devices, but using it through the web. It wouldn’t be possible without a huge leap forward in wireless technologies and accessibility of the internet.

Here comes the biggest advantage of the Progressive Web App – it’s easier accessible than the native app.
A user doesn’t need to install it, he can just open the website.

Okay, that’s fine, but what about being low on data?

Well, a native app takes usually about 10 MBs to download and then store in your memory. In comparison, a PWA can reduce this amount to 500 Kb. That’s 20 times less.

The third one – App based on the Internet = no need to update anything

Simply, PWA is based on the enhanced website, so there’s no need to download an update every two weeks. Every time you use PWA, you can be sure that you have access to the latest fixes, tweaks, and updates.

No update = no need to install

How it’s possible?
Let’s get back to the main idea behind PWA. It’s simply a website designed to look like and work as an ordinary app. You can have a navbar, you can make a hamburger menu and all of the functionalities. But when it’s a website, it’s not a typical app on the App Store, it is still a website. That’s why you can take its icon and use it as a shortcut to your app on the screen of your iPhone.

It’s not only easily accessible, but it can also be shared as a link

I know, that you can share any app from Google Play Store. However, every time you do it, you are not sharing the app itself, you are sharing a link to the card in the store, from which the app can be downloaded. In PWA case, the app is in a link, so when someone opens it, they can use it right-away.

Okay, I get it, PWA is awesome, but why not everyone is having it if it’s so good?
Well, I really don’t know why, but the idea of PWA also has its flaws.

You are missing the traffic from App Store and Play Store.

It’s awesome that you get traffic straight from your website, but when you promote your PWA, you are not in stores, so these channels don’t benefit your app.

When the user wants to log in with Facebook to your app, he has to be logged in with Facebook in his browser first.

You can’t use fingerprint scanner in any browser, that’s why you cannot benefit from the latest hardware enhancements in your PWA.

Only Android users get notifications while using PWA…

And some browsers still don’t support PWA, which is sad…

Let’s make a quick sum up: is PWA worth it?

Absolutely! It is probably the most convenient and the least expensive option to provide your users with feels-like-an-app experience. As long as you understand that the app wouldn’t promote itself even if it’s added to the App Store or Play Store and have a plan for promoting it you can succeed. Easiness of sharing the application and adding it to the device as well as no need to update whatsoever makes it just great.

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